Jill Stein: Warrant issued for arrest of Green Party candidate after Dakota Pipeline protest 'vandalism'

Dr Stein faces charges of criminal tresspassing and criminal mischief after her demonstration of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe

Feliks Garcia
New York
Thursday 08 September 2016 02:59 BST

Officials in a North Dakota county have issued a warrant for the arrest of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, accused of vandalising a bulldozer at the Dakota Access pipeline protest.

Dr Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, were charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

During a Monday demonstration, activists asked Ms Stein to leave a message at the protest, after which she wrote “I approve this message” across the blade of a bulldozer in red spray paint, according to campaign spokesperson Meleiza Figueroa. Court documents say Mr Baraka painted “decolonization” on construction equipment, as well.

Ms Figueroa could not comment on whether or not Ms Stein intends to turn herself in, the Associated Press said.

“I hope the North Dakota authorities press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of attack dogs,” she said before the judge filed charges.

Ms Stein joined members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe Monday as a show of support for their cause against the $3.8bn, four-state pipeline project. Tribe leaders alleged that construction crews have destroyed Native American cultural sites and sacred burial grounds, and the project threatens to taint the area’s water supply.

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US District Judge James Boasberg ordered a partial halt to construction after a violent confrontation between demonstrators and security at the construction site on Saturday.

According to tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear, six people suffered from dog bites – including a young child – and at least 30 people were maced. Police said four guards and two dogs were injured in the attack. They claimed there were no reports of protester injuries.

Mr Boasberg denied a restraining order filed by the tribespeople to keep construction away from the culturally sensitive area.

“Today’s denial of a temporary restraining order … west of Lake Oahe puts my people’s sacred places at further risk of ruin and desecration,” said Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault II.

Judge Boasberg is expected to decide on the tribe’s challenge of the permits granted by the Army Corps of Engineers to the Dallas-based company Energy Transfer Partners.

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